Recital

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Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Mac, Unix/Linux and Windows. It allows two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other. 

Binary distributions for Unison can be found here.

The user manual can be found here
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In this article Barry Mavin, CEO and Chief Software Architect for Recital debunks the myths and misrepresentations surrounding XBase and explains how Recital, an enterprise-class XBase platform, has overcome all the shortfalls and weaknesses of early XBase implementations.

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Yes, your FoxPlus and FoxPRO applications should run under Recital with little to no changes at all. We provide expert product support if you have any questions or problems. If you lack the resources to move your applications into Recital we can provide that service to you also if required.
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After split brain has been detected, one node will always have the resource in a StandAlone connection state. The other might either also be in the StandAlone state (if both nodes detected the split brain simultaneously), or in WFConnection (if the peer tore down the connection before the other node had a chance to detect split brain).

At this point, unless you configured DRBD to automatically recover from split brain, you must manually intervene by selecting one node whose modifications will be discarded (this node is referred to as the split brain victim). This intervention is made with the following commands:

# drbdadm secondary resource 
# drbdadm disconnect resource
# drbdadm -- --discard-my-data connect resource


On the other node (the split brain survivor), if its connection state is also StandAlone, you would enter:

# drbdadm connect resource


You may omit this step if the node is already in the WFConnection state; it will then reconnect automatically.

If all else fails and the machines are still in a split-brain condition then on the secondary (backup) machine issue:

drbdadm invalidate resource
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In this article Barry Mavin, CEO and Chief Software Architect for Recital, details on how to use the Client Drivers provided with the Recital Database Server to work with local or remote server-side JDBC data sources.

Overview

The Recital Universal .NET Data Provider provides connectivity to the Recital Database Server running on any supported platform (Windows, Linux, Unix, OpenVMS) using the RecitalConnection object.

The Recital Universal JDBC Driver provides the same functionality for java applications.

The Recital Universal ODBC Driver provides the same functionality for applications that use ODBC.

Each of the above Client Drivers use a connection string to describe connections parameters.

The basic format of a connection string consists of a series of keyword/value pairs separated by semicolons. The equals sign (=) connects each keyword and its value.

The following table lists the valid names for keyword/values.


Name Default Description

Data Source
-or-
Server
-or-Nodename

  The name or network address of the instance of the Recital Database Server which to connect to.
Directory   The target directory on the remote server where data to be accessed resides. This is ignored when a Database is specified.

Encrypt
-or-
Encryption

false When true, DES3 encryption is used for all data sent between the client and server.
Initial Catalog
-or-
Database
  The name of the database on the remote server.
Password
-or-
Pwd
  The password used to authenticate access to the remote server.
User ID   The user name used to authenticate access to the remote server.

Connection Pooling
-or-
Pool

false Enable connection pooling to the server. This provides for one connection to be shared.
Logging false Provides for the ability to log all server requests for debugging purposes
Rowid true When Rowid is true (the default) a column will be post-fixed to each SELECT query that is a unique row identifier. This is used to provide optimised UPDATE and DELETE operations. If you use the RecitalSqlGrid, RecitalSqlForm, or RecitalSqlGridForm components then this column is not visible but is used to handle updates to the underlying data source.
Logfile   The name of the logfile for logging
Gateway  

Opens an SQL gateway(Connection) to a foreign SQL data source on the remote server.
Using Gateways, you can transparently access the following local or remote data sources:

  • Recital
  • Oracle
  • ODBC (Server-side ODBC data sources)
  • JDBC (Server-side JDBC data sources)
  • ADO (Use this to connect to SQL Server and other Native Windows OLEDB data sources)
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
The gateway can be specified in several formats:
servertype@nodename:username/password-database
e.g.
oracle@nodename:username/password-database
mysql@nodename:username/password-database
postgresql@nodename:username/password-database
-or-
odbc:odbc_data_source_name_on_server
oledb:oledb_connection_string_on_server
jdbc:jdbc_driver_path_on_server;jdbc:Recital:args

To connect to a server-side JDBC data source, you ue the gateway=value key/value pair in the following way.

gateway=jdbc:jdbc_driver_path_on_server;jdbc:Recital:args

You can find examples of connection strings for most ODBC and OLE DB data sources by clicking here.

Example in C# using the Recital Universal .NET Data Provider:
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// include the references below
using System.Data;
using Recital.Data;

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// The following code example creates an instance of a DataAdapter that 
// uses a Connection to the Recital Database Server, and a gateway to
// Recital Southwind database. It then populates a DataTable 
// in a DataSet with the list of customers via the JDBC driver. 
// The SQL statement and Connection arguments passed to the DataAdapter 
// constructor are used to create the SelectCommand property of the
// DataAdapter.
public DataSet SelectCustomers()
{
	string gateway = "jdbc:/usr/java/lib/RecitalJDBC/Recital/sql/RecitalDriver;"+
			"jdbc:Recital:Data Source=localhost;database=southwind";       
	RecitalConnection swindConn = new
			RecitalConnection("Data Source=localhost;gateway=\""+gateway+"\");
	RecitalCommand selectCMD = new
			RecitalCommand("SELECT CustomerID, CompanyName FROM Customers", swindConn);
	selectCMD.CommandTimeout = 30;
	RecitalDataAdapter custDA = new RecitalDataAdapter();    
	custDA.SelectCommand = selectCMD;    
	swindConn.Open();    
	DataSet custDS = new DataSet();
	custDA.Fill(custDS, "Customers");    
	swindConn.Close();
	return custDS;
}
Example in Java using the Recital Universal JDBC Driver:
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// standard imports required by the JDBC driver
import java.sql.*;
import java.io.*;
import java.net.URL;
import java.math.BigDecimal;
import Recital.sql.*;

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// The following code example creates a Connection to the Recital // Database Server, and a gateway to the Recital Southwind database. // It then retrieves all the customers via the JDBC driver. public void SelectCustomers() { // setup the Connection URL for JDBC String gateway = "jdbc:/usr/java/lib/RecitalJDBC/Recital/sql/RecitalDriver;"+ "jdbc:Recital:Data Source=localhost;database=southwind"; String url = "jdbc:Recital:Data Source=localhost;gateway=\""+gateway+"\";
// load the Recital Universal JDBC Driver new RecitalDriver(); // create the connection Connection con = DriverManager.getConnection(url); // create the statement Statement stmt = con.createStatement(); // perform the SQL query ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery("SELECT CustomerID, CompanyName FROM Customers"); // fetch the data while (rs.next()) { String CompanyID = rs.getString("CustomerID"); String CompanyName = rs.getString("CompanyName"); // do something with the data... } // Release the statement stmt.close(); // Disconnect from the server con.close(); }
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Recital is a dynamic programming language particularly suited to the development of database applications. While Recital still supports standard procedural programming, new extensions to the language give you the power and flexibility of object-oriented programming. Object-oriented design and object-oriented programming represent a change in focus from standard procedural programming. This short primer will give you a good understanding of how to program object-oriented Recital.
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After an extended period of intense software development, we are pleased to announce the release of Recital 10 which is a milestone in our development efforts.
 
Recital 10 is comprised of major new versions of all of our products (which are all now Cluster Ready) as well as some new products, and a collection of open source technologies fully supported by ourselves to our customer base. 

The Recital 10 release notes can be found here.
  • Recital

    A powerful scripting language with an embedded database used for developing desktop database applications on Linux and Unix.

  • Recital Server

    A cross-platform SQL database and application server.

  • Recital Web

    A server-side scripting language with an embedded SQL database for creating web 2.0 web applications.

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Latest Development News

The Lianja Application Platform is a cost-effective cloud database computing platform for SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) that lets them focus on developing and deploying business Apps without the need to invest in lengthy application development times and an expensive IT infrastructure.

The three pillars of Lianja are:
  • The Lianja App Builder
  • The Lianja Cloud Database
  • Lianja.com Apps
If you need to develop and deploy cross-platform Visual FoxPRO GUI, Web or Mobile Apps visit the Lianja website for further details.

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This article looks at After Image Journaling and audit trails in Recital using SET JOURNAL and associated commands.

Overview

After Image Journaling, used in conjunction with a structured backup policy is an effective disaster recovery solution. Any transaction that takes place on a table that is being journaled is logged in the journal file. In the event of a disk crash or similar event in which the table is lost, the journaled transactions can be reapplied to the latest backup copy of the table. Alternatively or additionally, the journal can be used to provide an audit trail to all modifications made to the table data.

NOTE: Recital also provides Before Image Journaling via BEGIN TRANSACTION / END TRANSACTION blocks, allowing unsuccessful transactions to be rolled back to a set saved state.

SET JOURNAL and RECOVER

Regular backups are an essential routine for any system, but in high-transaction environments restoration of the latest backup can still mean a major loss of data. After image journaling can successfully be used as part of your disaster recovery strategy to minimize data loss and down time. Recital after image journaling functionality is based on the use of the SET JOURNAL and RECOVER commands.

SET JOURNAL
SET JOURNAL TO [<.dbj filename> | ()]
SET JOURNAL ON | OFF | ()

The SET JOURNAL command is used to enable the After Image Journaling and audit trail for the active table. The TO <.dbj filename> clause associates the specified transaction journal file with the active table.  If the journal file does not exist, it will be created.  The filename can be substituted with a <expC>, enclosed in round brackets, which returns a valid filename.  If no file extension is specified, ‘.dbj’ is used. When specifying a journal file, it is recommended that the journal file is stored on a different disk than that which the table is stored on, so that if a fatal disk error occurs, then the journal file will not be lost along with the table. 

//Enable journaling for the southwind!orders table
open database southwind
use orders
set journal to /journals/ord_journ

The <.dbj filename> is a standard table.  It contains seven fields that are specific to a journal file, followed by the first 249 fields of the associated table.

The first seven fields in the journal are:


Field

Type

Display

Storage

Description

AUD_DATE

Date

8 | 10 *

4

The date on which the transaction was performed.

AUD_TIME

Character

8

8

 The time at which the transaction was performed, in the format HH:MM:SS.

AUD_TERM

Character

12

12

The name of the terminal from which the transaction was performed

AUD_UID

Short

5

2

The ID of the user who performed the transaction.

AUD_GID

Short

5

2

The group ID of the user who performed the transaction.

AUD_CMD

Short

4

2

The command number of the transaction performed from the command table below

AUD_RECNO

Integer

7

4

The record number in the associated table which the transaction was performed on.


* Dependent on SET CENTURY setting.

The AUD_CMD Command Reference Numbers are as follows:


Command

Number

DELETE

14

RECALL

36

REPLACE

41

BROWSE

6

CHANGE

8

EDIT

17

INSERT

26

APPEND

5

READ

35


Since journal files are standard Recital tables, you can use standard Recital commands such as the REPORT command to print audit trails, transaction logs, etc.

//Enable journaling for the southwind!orders table
open database southwind
use orders
set journal to /journals/ord_journ
//.. transactions
close data
//View journaled records
use /journals/ord_journ.dbj

Click image to display full size

Fig 1: Journal Record Example.

The SET JOURNAL TO command without a <.dbj filename> specified closes the active journal file and no further journaling will take place on the active table until the SET JOURNAL TO <.dbj filename> is reissued.

The journaling features are mainly used with shared tables.  It should be noted that there is an overhead in enabling transaction journaling, as records updated in a table are also written to the journal file. When records are appended into a journal file, locking is automatically performed so that multiple users can update the journal concurrently.  The associated table must be opened shareable for this to occur.  Each table can have a journal file associated with it. 

The SET JOURNAL ON | OFF command enables or disables transaction journaling.  This command is primarily used in applications where journaling can be disabled for a certain class of operations. By default, SET JOURNAL is ON, but no journal files are set.

NOTE: Only the first 249 fields of a table can be journaled: subsequent fields are ignored. The maximum number of fields in a Recital table is 256.

RECOVER
RECOVER FROM <.dbj filename> | ()

The RECOVER command uses the journal file to reapply lost transactions to a previous backup of the data after a fatal error such as a disk head crash. The FROM clause specifies the journal file to use. The file name can be substituted with an <expC>, enclosed in round brackets, which returns a valid filename.  If no file extension is specified, then ‘.dbj’ is assumed. 

Regular backups are essential to the successful use of After Image Journaling.   It is also very important to reinitialize the journal file after each backup: either open the journal file as you would a normal table and use the ZAP command, or delete the file completely. If a fatal error occurs, such as a disk head crash, the table and index files must be restored from a backup, then the RECOVER command executed. RECOVER will reapply' all of the transactions in the journal file to the table, and update the indexes.  After the RECOVER command has completed, you can continue with normal processing. 

//Create a backup of the southwind!orders table
//...backup table and associated files
//Reinitialize the journal file
erase /journals/ord_journ.dbj
//Enable journaling for the southwind!orders table
open database southwind
use orders
set journal to /journals/ord_journ
//.. transactions
//Restore the backup of the southwind!orders table
//...restore
//Open the restored backup
open database southwind
use orders
//Reapply the transactions using the journal
recover from /journals/ord_journ.dbj
//Now, enable the journal file again or
//restart with a new backup

Journaling Memo Fields

By default, memo fields - variable length text fields - are not journaled due to the possible storage overhead of multiple copies of potentially large blocks of text. But, if memo journaling is required, the SET MEMOJOURNAL ON command can be used to enable this.

SET MEMOJOURNAL
SET MEMOJOURNAL ON | OFF | ()

The SET MEMOJOURNAL command causes memo fields to be journaled when journaling is set on a table. This command allows the optional logical expression <expL> to be evaluated.  If a value of  .T. is returned, MEMOJOURNAL is set ON.  If a value of .F. is returned, MEMOJOURNAL is set OFF.  By default SET MEMOJOURNAL is OFF.

Like a normal Recital table, the journal holds only a pointer to a data block in an associated memo file, not the actual memo data itself. The journal's memo file has a file extension of .dbm rather than the standard Recital .dbt. Therefore, if the journal is being opened as a table, in order to view the journal's memo data, the SET MEMOEXT command should be used.

//Enable journaling for the southwind!suppliers table
open database southwind
use suppliers
set journal to /journals/sup_journ
//.. transactions
close data
//Set filename extension for memo file
set memoext to '.dbm'
//View journaled records
use /journals/sup_journ.dbj

Summary

The After Image Journaling enabled by the SET JOURNAL and RECOVER commands can be used in conjunction with a strict backup regime to minimize data loss in cases where tables become damaged or irretrievable. Journal files can be accessed like standard Recital tables and provide detailed information about the transactions applied to a table, so can be used for auditing purposes.

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Usually, you do not need to setup an email server under Linux. Most GUI email clients support Gmail POP3 and IMAP configurations. But, how do you send mail via the standard /usr/bin/mail user agents in a shell script? Programs such as sendmail / postfix / exim can be configured as a gmail smarthost but they are largely overkill for this use. The ssmtp program is a neat utility that does just that for you via gmail.

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